Thursday, June 19, 2008

Marlins Choose Patience in Win

It is beginning to look more and more like the young Marlins' affinity for carefree homer happy hacks is a conscious choice.

Small ball, manufacturing runs and smart baserunning are sooooo 2003. This latest generation of Marlins doesn't work the count, set up the pitcher or take the extra base. They just swing hard and drop head. I suspect that they hit that way because it's fun, and they are good at it.

But in last night's game, against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, the Fish actually played with an offensive strategy other than "mash ball with stick." They waited Dickey out, allowed his spin-less floaters to dance their way out of the strike zone, and peppered the middle of the field with line drives when they saw pitches they liked.

Being the Marlins, they still launched a couple of longballs, one against Dickey. However they walked 10 times and took an approach that they needed to take to be successful against a junk baller. (Beware Jamie Moyer, we'll get ya next time!)

Out of the familiar surroundings of the NL, the Fish played with their brains the whole Seattle series, nearly coming back against a dominating Felix Hernandez and taking care of business against Carlos Silva.

The point is: for all its perceived flaws, this team has players that can adapt to a situation when they need to. Despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, Dan Uggla can shorten up his swing, Mike Jacobs can take the first pitch, Hanley Ramirez can foul off fastballs on the outside corner. The Marlins can play differing styles of winning baseball if they choose to. And they can still drop some bombs while they do it.

1 comment:

ASponge said...

I agree with you. This Seattle series had a nice combination of manufactured runs and power shots. It's encouraging for the future.